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Book #47

An Advertisement for Toothpaste by  Ryszard Kapuściński   The great journalist of conflict in the Third World finds an even stranger and more exotic society in his own home of post-war Poland. These strange but engaging wee tales of post-war Poland were a delight. We see a full range of humanity as Kapuściński looks at village life, religious scandal, parental disappointment, and taking on burdens before releasing them. They were so different in their subject matter, and yet similar in their explorations of both Poland and its inhabitants. All of them were odd to me, in a curious way that appealed. It made me wonder, are all of Kapuściński’s tales of a strange nature, or have Penguin chosen to insert the ones which had a whiff of the fantastical crossed with raw reality? Whatever the answer, Kapuściński’s skill is clear, and I’m glad to have discovered him.

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